Ford Cochran

This tribute to our fallen National Geographic colleagues Ann Judge and Joe Ferguson is republished on the 15th anniversary of their death in the plane that was flown into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. It was written for the tenth anniversary of that dark day, but the memories of them and our grief at their…

Changing Planet

January 12, 2012 marks the second anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti, leaving more than 180,000 homes destroyed and 1,500,000 people homeless. While the United Nations and a number of governments, NGOs (such as SOIL, lead by NG Emerging Explorer Sasha Kramer, a project to transform wastes into resources), and volunteers have worked…

Changing Planet

The devastation following a large oil spill might naturally prompt anger, grief, frustration—or an effort to learn why it happened so as to better avert the next one. For conservationist, author, and National Geographic Education Fellow John Francis, the collision of two Standard Oil tankers near the Golden Gate Bridge in 1971, and the subsequent…

Changing Planet

As the Salas y Gómez team concludes its work near Easter Island, Chile, and disperses to points around the globe, marine scientist and expedition co-leader Enric Sala looks back on several weeks in one of the most isolated, intriguing, and ecologically unique corners of the vast Pacific. Petroglyphs depicting a tangata manu, or birdman, near…

Changing Planet

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European national leaders and environment ministers have gathered in Monaco to discuss the need for more marine protected areas and other strategies to conserve life in the oceans. National Geographic Executive Vice President for Mission Programs Terry Garcia addresses European environment leaders about the United States system of marine protected areas (MPAs) at the Monaco…

Changing Planet

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The giant extinct invertebrate Arthropleura resembled some modern millipedes, but could grow to be more than one-and-a-half feet wide, and may sometimes have been more than six feet long. Reconstruction of the giant millipede Arthropleura from the Pennsylvanian and earliest Permian of North America and Europe. The head capsule (marked by an asterisk) is shown…

Changing Planet

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University of Southern Mississippi ecophysiologist Eric Hoffmayer received a National Geographic Society/Waitt grant to tag and track whale sharks in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Last June while diving with Sylvia Earle and a filmmaking team led by Bob Nixon, Hoffmayer witnessed roughly 100 of the sharks–the largest gathering ever recorded of this, the world’s…

Changing Planet

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Aboard ship in the Gulf of Mexico, ecologist and author Carl Safina of Stony Brook University’s Blue Ocean Institute talks with Sylvia Earle about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its aftermath. “It was a wake-up call,” says Carl, “and I hope we don’t hit the snooze button because it will happen again. There are…

Changing Planet

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PENSACOLA, Fla.–Scientists and representatives of several organizations head into the northern Gulf of Mexico from Pensacola this week on an expedition led by Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, and Dr. Thomas Shirley, professor at the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The expedition aims to explore and document several areas west and…

Changing Planet